ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Officials announced that Anne Arundel County Public Schools will require employees along with high school student-athletes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to submit to weekly testing.

This is set to begin on Nov. 22.

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“We still need to finalize some parts of the plan, but announcing an effective date now allows our employees and families of our high school students to begin to either gather the necessary information or become fully vaccinated by November 22 if they choose to do so,” said Superintendent George Arlotto.

Arlotto previously stated that he favored the implementation of a vaccination-or-testing model and the school system had been putting the final logistical steps in place to enact it for several weeks.

“Requiring vaccinations or testing among student-athletes will help ensure that AACPS can continue full competitive seasons in the winter and spring,” Dr. Arlotto said.

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“Vaccinations are the single most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said. “The goal of our collaborative efforts is to keep our schools open, and this is a key step towards doing exactly that.”

Officials said the process for submitting vaccination certifications and a weekly testing protocol will be announced by mid-October.

The school system is also finalizing a contract with a vendor to provide surveillance testing of unvaccinated students whose families provide consent to do so.

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CBS Baltimore Staff